A Day in the Life of Leslee Stanton Nix, aka “Nixy” by Nancy Haddock

Paint the Town DeadI turn off the air compressor powering the sprayer, and stretch my back. After days of painting the building that will house the Handcraft Emporium, I’m exhausted and sore.

I’m Nixy, by the way. Formerly of Houston, Texas where I worked in the posh Gates Fine Art Gallery, I now live in Lilyvale, Arkansas. I’d come here to help my Aunt Sherry Mae Stanton Cutler out of a fix, and decided to make the town my home, too.

My aunt has macular degeneration. She gets along fine, especially with the help of her five housemates who live together in the Stanton ancestral farmhouse. Collectively known as the Silver Six, there’s ex-Navy Nurse Maise, her sister, Earth Mother Aster, and Elegant Eleanor. Two men also share their space, Dapper Dab and Fix-It Fred. But Sherry is my only living family, and belonging to a community of people who truly care about each other has great appeal. So does the lack of big city traffic!

The Silver Six must’ve heard the compressor fall silent for the seniors burst through the door dividing the workroom from the store proper where they’d been cleaning.

“Nixy, stow that gear right this minute!” Masie barks.

“That’s right, child,” my aunt sings. “It’s past time to get ready for your date.”

“With the most eligible bachelor in town,” Eleanor adds.

“My lavender water spray is ready in case you have a case of nerves,” Aster says.

“Humph.” That’s Fred. “Be sure you order expensive. No eatin’ like a bird. The boy can afford it.”

“We’ll finish cleaning up and putting away the spray painter,” Dab assures me.

Okay, so the prospect of seeing Detective Eric Shoar has me bounding up the interior staircase from Fred’s workroom to the apartment I’ll soon call home. Eric has a deep dreamy voice, and we’ve been seeing each other casually, but this is to be our first formal date. I’m psyched.

The Six and I had already repainted, refinished the hardwood pine floors, and cleaned the apartment until the place squeaked. I’d brought my dinner outfit, and my few bath, hair, and makeup products so I could get ready here, but I’ll spend the night at the farmhouse. Probably after giving the Silver Six a full report on my date. Eric and I had enjoyed a subtle sizzle each time we were together, and I fervently hope the sizzle doesn’t fizzle.

I peel myself out of the disposable paint coveralls—hood and booties included. The previous renters left a magnificent claw-foot tub fitted with a shower, and the water pressure is heavenly. I dry with an ultra-fluffy towel, rush through the makeup thing, and blast my blah-brown hair with the blow dryer. It won’t dry completely before my date, but I’ll leave it falling to my shoulders instead of confining it in the customary ponytail. With luck my locks won’t frizz, just wave.

I don my outfit pieced together from my super dressy gallery-opening clothes and pieces I’d bought here in town. Navy blue linen pants with a flowy off-white, scoop-neck blouse. I’d sworn off pantyhose, but slip my feet into navy wedge sandals. Eric doesn’t exactly tower over me, but at only five-foot three, I can use the boost in height.

I snag the matching clutch purse and open the bedroom door to find the ladies of the Silver Six waiting.

“Ready for inspection?” Maise asks, though she’ll inspect whether I agree or not.

Aster peers at my face. “Nixy, you only have mascara on one eye.”

“I do?”

Eleanor and Sherry nod.

“Rats.” I do an about face, correct the problem and come back out. “Now do I look okay?”

“Beautiful, child,” Aunt Sherry declares.

“Come on down, missy,” Fred shouts up the stairs. “Your date is here.”

I turn to the upper apartment door, when Eleanor speaks. “Nixy, I do believe your hair—”

“Needs fluffing,” Aster finishes. She fiddles with the back of my hair for a full thirty seconds. “That’ll do.”

Then she spritzes me with lavender oil water before they all follow me downstairs.

The restaurant, Adam Daniel’s, is a rustic modern place nestled in a circle of pine trees. Eric has the prime rib, I have the petite filet mignon, and we share a divine slice of banana icebox cake.

After some steamy kisses, Eric is walking me to the farmhouse porch when he stops and brushes his palm across the back of my head.

“Hold still, Nixy. I think you have a moth in your hair.”

“Did you get it?”

A pause. “Uh, no.”

“I’ll brush it free later.”

I can’t brush the moth free because it isn’t a moth. It’s a thin streak of white paint. I sigh and shrug. Eric has seen me look worse.

And the bonus? We don’t find a dead body during our date. Always a plus!


Paint the Town Dead is the second book in the Silver Six Crafting mystery series, published by Penguin Random House, September 2016.

From the national bestselling author of Basket Case comes the second mystery starring the crafty and cantankerous Silver Six.

Leslee Stanton Nix—aka “Nixy”—thought moving to small-town Lilyvale, Arkansas, would be about as thrilling as watching paint dry. But keeping up with her retired Aunt Sherry and her troublemaking housemates— collectively known as the Silver Six—has proven to be as exciting as it is exasperating.

To kick off the grand opening of their craft shop, the Handcraft Emporium, Nixy and the Silver Six invite Doralee Gordon to teach a gourd painting class. Doralee’s spirit gets squashed when her ex-husband crashes the class with his new fiancée, but things really get messy when the bride-to-be later turns up dead. Now it’s up to Nixy and the Silver Six to use their melons to find the killer—before someone else gets painted out of the picture. . .

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Nancy Haddock is an award-winning and national bestselling author of mystery romance. Basket Case is her first book in the Silver Six Crafting Mystery series with Berkley Prime Crime, and the second book, Paint the Town Dead, was released in early Sept. 2016. Her earlier books, also with Berkley, are La Vida Vampire, Last Vampire Standing, and Always The Vampire, featuring Cesca, aka Gidget with fangs, and are set in Haddock’s current hometown, St. Augustine, FL. Nancy draws on historic wealth, southern culture, and the plain old quirkiness of places and people for her books. She lives with her husband and rescue dog Baron. Connect with Nancy at www.nancyhaddock.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a signed copy of Paint the Town Dead. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end September 14, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!

63 responses to “A Day in the Life of Leslee Stanton Nix, aka “Nixy” by Nancy Haddock

  1. It’s such fun to be with you again, Dru Ann! Thank you and have a great week.

    Ditto to commenters, and good luck in the drawing!

    Light,
    Nancy

  2. Oh WOW WOW WOW!!!! Just look at that awesome cover of this new book!!!!! So cool!!!! This is a new author to me and this sure sounds like a really super duper exciting mystery!!! Love the title too!!! Thank you so very much dear Dru Ann and Nancy Haddock for the chance to win this awesome new book!!!! Am so excited now and can’t wait to read it!!! Woo Hoo!!! Yippee Skippee….this will surely be a spectacular book!!!!!! God bless you both!!!!

  3. I love the animals on the front cover. Another fun cozy I want to read!

  4. Sounds like a great book to read. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

  5. I’ve been waiting for this one! So excited that the time has come! Would love to win a copy! Great cast of characters and a series I hope has a long run! Thanks Dru Ann for all you do and Nancy for sharing.

  6. I really enjoyed this…

  7. I enjoy crafting mysteries. Thank you for the chance to win

  8. Oh,boy! I gotta have this one! Pleeeeease. …

  9. I loved the first book in this series and recommended this one to my library. Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Thanks for this great giveaway.

  11. I love finding new books so I am exited to get a copy of the one on your blog. Thank you for the opportunity to perhaps win a copy of it.

  12. Sounds like a great read/series!

  13. I loved Basket Case! The Silver Six are a hoot – and pretty true to life in my experiences in a small Oklahoma town. I’d love to win this one!

  14. This sounds delightful.
    And the paint “moth” is a great touch.

  15. This sounds like a great read, thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  16. This sounds good thanks for the review.
    Penney penneyw(at)sbcglobal.net

  17. Hi, Beverly, and thank you for commenting! I love your excitement – and appreciate it! Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  18. Carolsue, hi, and thank you for coming by! Berkley does an awesome job with their cover art. I love how they depicted Amber and T.C., too!

    Good luck in the drawing!

    Light,
    Nancy

  19. Rig, thanks for being here, and good luck in the drawing!

    Light,
    Nancy

  20. Bec, it’s my pleasure to be here, and I’m tickled you enjoyed BASKET CASE. Good luck in the drawing!

    Light,
    Nancy

  21. Gram, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Good luck in the drawing!

    Light,
    Nancy

  22. Hello, Book Aunt, and thanks for coming by! If you give the book a try, I think you’ll enjoy the crafting in it! Good luck in the drawing!

    Light,
    Nancy

  23. LOL, Amy! Good luck in the drawing!

    Light,
    Nancy

  24. JoAn V., thanks for letting me know you enjoyed BASKET CASE, and for recommending it to your library. You might let them know that book is now available in large print, if they are interested.

    Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  25. Ellie, good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  26. Hello, Robeader, and thank you for stopping by! If you try my books, I hope you’ll enjoy them! Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  27. Karen B., hi and thanks for stopping by! Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  28. Gail, hello, and thanks for letting me know you enjoyed BASKET CASE! You’re an Okie, too! I grew up in Sapulpa, and still have many friends there.

    Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  29. Hi, Elizabeth! I’m grinning that you liked the paint moth. I’ve done that more than once – had to scrape/ pick paint out of my hair. Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  30. Hi, Wendy, and thank you for stopping to comment! Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  31. Hello, Penney, and thank you for being here! Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  32. The silver six sounds a hoot. The fact that Nixy can so calmly gloss over the paint in her hair is something I admire! I would be cursing.
    Gotta start this series!

  33. I loved the first book in this series, hoping to win this one. Either way I’m adding it to my tbr list just to be sure I don’t miss a thing!
    .

  34. What a fun sounding mystery series!! Thank you for the chance to win a copy!

  35. Wow! Nixy and the Silver Six are at it again!!!!???? Would love to win a copy what a fun laugh out loud mystery series.

  36. elainehroberson

    A new-to-me series to try. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  37. Loved Basket Case. Such a fun read!!! Can’t wait to read Paint the Town Dead. Thanks for the chance to win a copy. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  38. Susan Slovinsky

    Missed the first one, but I have to pick it up now – what a delightful mix of characters. Being of the silver generation I can relate. Thank you.

  39. Hi, CJ and thanks for stopping by! I don’t think I’d handle the paint-in-hair thing too calmly either. I actually have done the mascara on one set of lashes trick.

    Good luck in the drawing!

    Light,
    Nancy
    :

  40. Mary Jane, hi! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed BASKET CASE, and I sure hope PAINT THE TOWN DEAD will be fun for you, too! Thanks and good luck in the drawing!

    Light,
    Nancy

  41. Johnna, hello, and thanks for being here! If you give the books a try, I hope you’ll enjoy them! Good luck in the drawing!

    Light,
    Nancy

  42. Hello, northstarvance! I’m delighted that BASKET CASE tickled your funny bone, and I hope you’ll enjoy PAINT THE TOWN DEAD, too! Good luck in the drawing!

    Light,
    Nancy

  43. Hi, Elaine, and thank you for coming by! Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  44. Linda, thank you for being here, and for letting me know you enjoyed BASKET CASE! I appreciate the compliment! Good luck in the drawing!

    Light,
    Nancy

  45. Susan, hi and thank you for stopping by! I’m on the silver side, too, although my mother and her friends inspired many of my characters. If you try the books, I hope you’ll have fun with the Silver Six, and Nixy, too!

    Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  46. Loved Basket Case – can’t wait to read Paint The Town Dead.

  47. Loved the first book & can’t wait to read this one.

  48. Dont need to be entered in the contest, but have to say I love this series!! If this is a new to you author, buy both books now! If you have read the first but havent yet bought this one, do it. You will love it!

  49. Hi, Mary C., and thank you for commenting! I’m delighted that your loved BASKET CASE, and hope you’ll have even more fun with PAINT THE TOWN DEAD.

    Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  50. Doward, hello! I recognize your name – I follow your posts on FB and Kings River Life blogs. I’m so glad you loved BASKET CASE, and hope you’ll enjoy PAINT THE TOWN DEAD just as much!

    Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  51. Hi, Kay, and thank you for being here, and for the high compliments! I appreciate your endorsement of Nixy and the Silver Six!

    Have a wonderful week!
    Light,
    Nancy

  52. I haven’t read this series yet and it really sounds like a really fun read. Can’t wait to read about the Silver Six.

  53. Nancy is a new author to me. I have added Basket Case and Paint the Town Dead to my TBR list (fingers crossed to win a signed copy of Paint the Town Dead). I can’t wait to find out more about the Silver Six.

  54. Dianne, hi, and thank you for stopping by to comment. I hope you’ll enjoy the books if you decide to try them!

    Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  55. Hi, Vicki! I’m delighted you dropped by to comment, and I hope you’ll have fun getting to know the Silver Six!

    Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  56. This is a new series to me. It looks good. Thanks for the chance! lindaherold999@gmail.com

  57. Thanks for coming by, Linda! If you give the series a try, I do hope you” enjoy it!

    Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  58. Della Williamson

    This does look good. New author/series. Thanks for the heads up.

  59. Hi, Della, and thank you for coming by! Good luck in the drawing!
    Light,
    Nancy

  60. Sounds like I’ve found a new series! I live in Arkansas and I can’t wait to read it!

  61. Hi, Kelley! I hope you’ll enjoy the way I depicted Lilyvale. The people I’ve met in Magnolia, AR – many who helped me with research – think my town is fairly “true” to Magnolia and AR in general. I did base Lilyvale on Magnolia, especially in terms of the town square, but also on the small town I was raised in in OK, and on every other small town I’ve visited. I have such fun!

    Thanks so much for coming by, and good luck in the drawing. Happy week!

    Light,
    Nancy

  62. You are a new Author to me. The Book sounds delightful and there is nothing better than a good mystery.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

    • Hi, Marilyn, and thank you for stopping in to comment! I agree with you – I adore good mysteries, and I have so many favorite authors, I have to keep a list. Then there are the new-to-me authors I have to try.

      If you read my books, I hope you’ll enjoy them! Have a great week!

      Light,
      Nancy